Plenty of ways for schools to save | March 5, letter
Letter's writer lacks compassion
I am a taxpayer with two students in Pasco County schools. I am also a veteran of the U.S. Navy and a teacher of 13 years. I would like to know what planet the letter writer lives on, and when was the last time that he had any interaction with students or teachers in this county.
He shows too much ignorance in his rant about the Pasco County schools and schools in general with his comments about cutting corners by not feeding hungry students whose families can't afford to provide for them. I was a recipient of reduced lunches in the 1970s when my father was laid off from work during my junior and senior years at Land O'Lakes High School and it was a great help to my family during a difficult time, just as it is to many today.
Students today, as when I was in school, receive an excellent education in Pasco County and go on to prestigious schools such as Harvard, Yale, MIT, University of Chicago, and more. Or they proudly serve in the military or some other noble endeavor. Our students go on to do great things not just for themselves, but also for the betterment of humanity.
It seems the letter writer and those of his ilk want public education completely shut down so that we can go back to the days of mass illiteracy and poverty. His profound understanding shines forth in his statements about class size and teachers needing to pass the FCAT. If class size does not matter, why do legislators tout public funding of the charter and private religious schools where class sizes are half what public schools will be under the Class Size Amendment?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, "The test of morality of a society is what it does for its children." The writer shows a lack of compassion for his fellow man and that should make him ashamed of himself.
Kenny Blankenship, Land O'Lakes
It's certainly not the kids' fault
The letter writer wants to stop free school lunches to save money. I don't think he understands the reason for free lunches. The kids don't have any food at home. They get no breakfast, no free lunch with fruit and vegetables available or Mountain Dew with french fries for dinner. On the weekend, there might be a bag of burgers. And you want to take away the only vitamins they get. Kids who qualify for free lunch don't carry cell phones.
Class size has everything to do with learning. School is the only place some of these kids get to talk to an adult without fear of getting slugged in the head. These children require the individual attention afforded by limiting the size of classes.
Thomas Karcher, New Port Richey
County offers a fine education
As a father, grandfather, military veteran, taxpayer and, yes, a teacher, I can no longer sit idly by while people such as the letter writer trash-talk our education system. I suppose he'd have school children carrying guns to class and using portable bathrooms, too. The education of the children in Pasco is excellent. And, yes, when they go for jobs, they can read, write and compute. How do I know this? They've passed FCAT. Perhaps he's never met a hungry child. Too bad. Children do not ask to be born and, therefore, someone must feed them.
Class size does matter. Isn't that what the darlings of the right wing, the charters and privates love to advertise? Also, teachers pass a rigorous battery of tests to be certified. (Notwithstanding, we all have college degrees. My father, a teacher, was a Ph.D.) I challenge the letter writer to take those tests, one of which, the CLAST, is considerably harder than FCAT.
My colleagues and I have had the privilege of teaching thousands of fine young men and women, many of whom now proudly wear the uniforms of their country in an undeclared, undefined war giving their lives for the letter writer. Many of my students have gone on to be physicians and engineers as well. But I will apologize for taking your precious tax dollars. Perhaps I should work my 12-hour day for free so you can purchase one more gun or tea bag.
To paraphrase Justice Holmes, I like taxes. With them, I buy civilization. I publicly challenge the superintendent, school board members, board employees and military veterans to refute the letter writer's vitriol. He insults each and every one of us and tragically speaks for a gaggle of angry, isolated radicals who seek to destroy the democratic ideals upon which this nation was founded.
Robert Marsh, Masaryktown
Toxic politics stand in the way of Port Richey | March 4, editorial
There's a reason for term limits
Vengeful governing is regretfully alive and well in Port Richey. Now, city voters are being asked in a referendum question on the upcoming ballot to extend term limits for those governing to three years.
The electorate is the only check and balance on this poor behavior. The city of Port Richey needs longer term limits as much as a valet is needed at a hobo convention. It is easy enough to run for office and council members who do not exhibit this behavior can easily keep their seats.
Longer term limits will only delay the opportunity for good leaders to emerge and further the present atmosphere, which is surely unacceptable.
James Mathieu, Port Richey
Teenage girl careens into car, then garage | March 6, article
Isn't 2 a.m. a time to be sleeping?
In reading the article regarding this crash, I ask: Where were the parents of these girls? This crash happened at 2 a.m.
What were these girls doing out at this time of night? Where was the parental supervision?
Lorraine Scarborough, Port Richey
Good people live in Pasco, too
I am writing to let people —who comment negatively on stories regarding Pasco County —know that there are good, kind and caring people in Pasco. I find them everywhere, especially in my neighborhood, Bear Creek.
I recently sprained my ankle, and a neighbor saw my car home and came to see if I was alright. They went to each neighbor to find crutches for me.
My doorbell rang all day with all the kindness and giving of walkers, canes, food and even a trip to a Thrift Store to find me crutches.
My neighbors are the best and I am proud to live in Pasco, especially Bear Creek. I am so lucky to have neighbors and friends so very close to me.
Cathy Schiller, Port Richey
Repairing Isabelle | March 7, article
Article on horse inspires, enrages
In a time of recession, I cannot imagine how many animals are suffering. The sight of Carrie Young on a highway with a sign asking for donations just shows how one person can affect change.
Some will applaud her. Some will make cold remarks about saving animals over people. Those are not the kind of people with whom I wish to share my world.
Although none of us can change the world overnight, we can reach out and try after reading this emotional story. Thanks to the Times, I got that chance during these times that are very frustrating for all of us and it made me feel good.
My big question is why the previous owner has not been charged with animal cruelty? What is there to investigate after you see a dead horse and one that was so neglected?
It is obvious to me as it should be to all of us that this is against the law and we should demand charges be filed.
Louise Kahle, St. Petersburg